Merritt, Rich. “Code of Conduct”, Kensington, 2008.
Immune to Danger
Rich Merritt who gave us his memoirs in “Secrets of a Gay Marine Porn Star” has a new novel “Code of Conduct”. He based the novel on his own experiences in The United States Marine Corps and has created a story of love and loss, duty, hope and betrayal.
Don Hawkins, a thirty-three year old Marine, enlisted in the corps as a way to escape living with his alcoholic father and his wife, his stepmother. He finds himself as the unofficial leader of a group of gay and lesbians in the service who have been forces to hide their sexualities as they serve their country. With President Bill Clinton’s campaign promise to lift the ban on gay men and women, he finds a new optimism and feels a new age is dawning.
Don’s lover had been killed in Beirut ten years before the book opens and Don feels he is now ready to love again. He falls for Patrick who just happens to be very handsome and a helicopter pilot. As they begin to build their relationship, Don lets his guard down and he discovers that he has become the target of several that have a very vicious agenda against gays and unforeseen consequences begin to take shape.
Rich Merritt knows how to tell a story and he gives us moments of tension in this book. It is honest, inspiring and sincere and contains elements of humor, sex and courage. We all know how difficult it is to live and maintain two separate lives and it is not often that an author can successfully pen the words that truly and with brutal and compelling honest the words that describe such a situation. Rich Merritt manages to do so and with great style.